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Tools and Embodiment

James Gibson proposed the theory of affordances to explain the human tendency to perceive the environment in terms of oneís ability to act on the world. Affordances are properties of objects that are perceived in relation to an agentís capacity for action, and tools are a special class of objects that afford both grasping and manipulation. James Gibson believed that the temporary attachment of these portable objects to oneís body extends oneís capacity for perception and action, and blurs the boundary between body and environment (1986).

Are tools incorporated into our body, or are they temporary extensions of our body? Does it depend on the type of tool? Or does it depend on the skill of the wielder?

Researchers Veronica Weser

Collaborators Gianluca Finotti, Marcello Costantini

Does using chopsticks change the implicit representation of the size of your hand? Can chopsticks be embodied in the rubber hand illusion?

Publications Weser, V., Finotti, G., Costantini, M., & Proffitt, D.R. (2017). Multisensory integration induces body ownership of a handtool, but not any handtool. Consciousness and Cognition 56
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